Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Criticism of the War on Terrorism against Terrorism

Critics argue it has been used to justify unilateral preemptive war, perpetual war, human rights abuses, and other violatiosn of international law. Opponents have also heavily criticised the Iraq War, and USA PATRIOT Act. Criticism of the War on Terrorism addresses the issues, morals, ethics, efficiency, economics, and other questions surrounding the War on Terrorism. Arguments are also made against the phrase itself, calling it a misnomer.

The notion of a “war” against “terrorism” has proven highly contentious, with critics charging that it has been exploited by participating governments to pursue long standing policy objectives, reduce civil liberties, and infringe upon human rights. Some argue that the term war is not appropriate in this context (as in War on Drugs), since they belive there is no tangible enemy, and that it is unlikely international terrorism can be brought to an end by means of war. Others note that “terrorism” is not an enemy, but a tactic; calling it a “war on terror”, obscures differences between conflicts. For example, anti-occupation insurgents and international jihadists. Some have also alleged that the tactics used are counterproductive to the goals. The US media has also received criticism for its coverage of the War on Terrorism. The Bush administration’s use of the War on Terrorism to justify the invasion of Iraq has been particularly controversial, as the link asserted between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein was disproved, even by Bin Laden himself. In 2007, Presidential hopeful, John Edwards, called the War on Terror a “bumper sticker, not a plan”.

Decreasing international support

In 2002, strong majorities supported the US led War on Terrorism in Britain, France, Germany, Japan, India, and Russia. By 2006, supporters of the effort were in the minority in Britain (49%), France (43%), Germany (47%), and Japan (26%). Although a majority of Russians still supported the War on Terrorism, that majority had decreased by 21%. Whereas 63% of the Spanish population supported the War on Terrorism in 2003, only 10% of the population indicated support in 2006. 19% of the Chinese population supports the War on Terrorism, and less than a fifth of the populations of turkey, Egypt, and Jordan support the effort. However a major exception is India, where the support for the War on Terrorism has been stable. Andrew Kohut, speaking to the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, noted that, according to the Pew Center polls conduced in 2004, “majorities or pluralities in seen of the nine countries surveyed said the US led war on terrorism was not really a sincere effort to reduce international terrorism. This was true not only in Muslim countries such as Morocco and Turkey, but in France and Germany as well. The true purpose of the war on terrorism, according to these sceptics, is US control of Middle East oil and US domination of the world.”

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